Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Agent & The Client

The Agent
The other night my 10-year-old daughter, Abbie, asked me what an Agent does. I naturally assumed she had at some point overheard me refer to myself as an Insurance Agent, but I remained ever hopeful that she really wanted to know more about being a Hollywood Agent or a Sports Agent or even a cleaning agent. All of which are flashier careers than an Insurance Agent.

I gave her my brief description of how an Agent works, and assumed that was the end of her curiosity. I woke up the next morning to find this note on my nightstand (original spelling included):

Dear Mr. Ken Craig,

I, Abigail Craig, am now working as Garren Craig’s agent. He requested that I send you a letter asking for a job. This needs to be an outside job that does not include pruning or going to the neighbors houses. He will willingly work on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saterdays. His vacations are requested on the 2nd, 4th and 5th weeks of the month. He would also like to be payed 15¢ a day. If this is all right, please let me know. If you request something different, please let me know what it is and I will try to make it work for both of you. Thank you very much.

Miss Abigail Craig
Agent to Mr. Garren Craig

I was duly impressed. My 10-year-old was now representing my 8-year-old. And at a pretty outrageous deal of a price! Sidebar: Garren’s stand on not pruning comes as a result of us having 38 rose bushes in our backyard. He has seen the work that goes into these suckers, and he is standing his ground, to be sure.

I responded:

Craig Enterprises
Attention: Abigail Craig
Craig House, Bedroom #2
Las Vegas, NV

Dear Miss Abigail Craig:

On behalf of Ken Craig Industries, I appreciate you contacting me regarding the employment interests of Mr. Garren J. Craig. We are always looking for talented, dedicated individuals who are interested in providing quality work at a minimal cost to us; thus, keeping our stockholders fat and sassy.

I’ve reviewed the demands of Mr. Craig concerning his wages and hours of labor, as well as his request that his duties not include the pruning of rose bushes, nor maintaining close association with the neighbors. (We at Ken Craig Industries have a Tolerance Policy where we respect the phobias of all employees, including anthrophobia (the fear of flowers) or agyrophobia (the fear of crossing the street), which we have concluded is Mr. Craig’s reason for not wanting to talk to the neighbors.)

We have an extensive list of jobs that can be done on the Ken Craig Industries property, and we would be most interested in hiring Mr. Garren J. Craig to come work for us.

Regarding the salary arrangement, we would like to propose that we pay Mr. Craig 25¢ for each task he completes, with the understanding that he will place 50% of his earnings into our 401K Plan (a savings account), for his use once he reaches the age of 18 years.

If this meets with the approval of Mr. Craig, we would like him to begin work immediately, effective today, starting with the task of clearing his baseball equipment from the lawn, and repairing the very window through which he hurled a rock (being used as a mock-baseball).

I eagerly await the impending decision, and look forward to seeing you at dinner tonight.

Ken Craig
President, Ken Craig Industries

(I was originally prepared to offer Garren $1 for each task, but Katie, my wife and primary stockholder within Ken Craig Industries, strongly opposed, fearing Garren would attempt to run up quite a bill.)

After reviewing my letter, Abbie immediately scheduled a meeting with Garren. Then Abbie and I had a sit down and came to a verbal agreement that Garren will begin work immediately, but he requests that his paying for the broken window be removed from the binding contract. Agreed.

I know you shouldn’t mix business with family, but what do you do when they are this adorable and child labor laws don’t apply?

The Client